The INNOVATION AWARD honors those individuals, groups, or
organizations focused on moving
HIM into the future of the healthcare and wellness industries.
The Innovation Award honors
individuals or groups who have
promoted important advances
in areas related to HIM practice,
AHIMA presents Patricia S. Coffey, RHIA, CPHIMS, CPHI,
with the 2019 AHIMA Innovation Triumph Award. Coffey, chief
of the HIM department in the Clinical Center for the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), has an innovative and expansive
view of the role of HIM. She is a collaborative and active leader
for the NIH’s strategic improvement initiatives, embracing the
role of “early influence” in the NIH gender identity efforts, initiating and leading the NIH “Open Notes Revolution” to support cutting-edge patient engagement, and collaborating with
NIH research investigators to develop strategies and tools to
facilitate the collection and management of critical research
data while ensuring the integrity of clinical data and patient
information. For her efforts on the gender identity initiative,
Coffey was invited to speak at the 2018 AHIMA Conference and
received the NIH 2019 Sexual and Gender Minority Community
and Ally Leader Award from the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity
and Inclusion. Long before the transition to electronic health
records (EHRs) was a national initiative, Coffey positioned the
NIH’s HIM department to transition to a paperless medical record. She received the NIH Director’s Award for shepherding
the path toward an entirely electronic patient record for her
strategic use of technology, for improving patient access to their
medical information, and for realizing significant cost savings.
A fierce advocate for patients’ rights to access their medical
records in the patient portal and in accordance with the Open
Notes movement, Coffey is a sought-after colleague and leader
regarding her innovative approaches to patient-centered care.
Coffey’s professional affiliations demonstrate her commit-
Emerging Leader Award
ment to HIM. She is a member of AHIMA, president-elect of
the Maryland Health Information Management Association, a
member of the Health Information and Management Systems
Society, and past member of the AHIMA Health Informatics
Practice Council. She is a co-author of several AHIMA-pub-
lished articles, including “The Role of Information Governance
in the Implementation of Patient Portals.”
AHIMA congratulates Patricia S. Coffey on her 2019 AHIMA
Innovation Triumph Award. Her innovative thinking has posi-
tively impacted the quality and safety of the delivery of health-
The EMERGING LEADER
AWARD honors those individuals who have made great strides
and contributions to the HIM
field and have been employed
for over five years but fewer than
10 years from the date of entry
into the HIM profession.
AHIMA presents Kenneth H.
Lugo-Morales, MS, RHIA, with the 2019 AHIMA Emerging
Leader Triumph Award winner, recognizing his career accomplishments and unique attributes.
Lugo-Morales currently directs the HIM department at the
San Jorge Children and Women’s Hospital in San Juan, Puerto
Rico, where he successfully implemented the Revenue Cycle
Committee, resulting in greater chargemaster accuracy, improved documentation, and improved coding outcomes. Previously, Lugo-Morales served as a consultant, supervisor, and
director of the HIM department at three other hospitals, including the Hospital UPR Dr. Federico Trilla, Hospital Buen
Samaritano, and the PR Health Services Administration. As a
young graduate, Lugo-Morales served as project manager for
the ICD- 10 transition in the PR Health Department and its eight
His leadership contribution also extends to his volunteer roles
within the Puerto Rico Health Information Management Association (PRHIMA) where he has become an active and dedicated
member of the CSA leadership, first as the nominating committee
chair, then as president-elect in 2016. He served as president from
2017-2018. As the current past president, Lugo-Morales actively
collaborates on several committees and is a CSA delegate to the
AHIMA House of Delegates. As PRHIMA president, he was instrumental in implementing new technological applications that
greatly streamlined and improved the registration process and
marketing of PRHIMA events. He also developed an educational
resource bank of HIM-related professionals to offer trainings.
By exhibiting a passionate approach to his job, Lugo-Morales
has set a positive example for his students and young graduates
and has served as a true mentor and leader. Lugo-Morales has
been a member of the HIM Advisory Board for the HIM Graduate Program and has served as a clinical practice instructor in
the professional practice experience (PPE), which he enjoys immensely. His charisma, enthusiasm, and can-do attitude serve
as an inspiration to others within the profession.
Lugo-Morales’s peers praise him for his ability to quickly adjust to any situation and his capacity to work under extreme
circumstances while attaining outstanding results—skills that
were demonstrated during Hurricane Maria coverage.
AHIMA congratulates Kenneth H. Lugo-Morales on his 2019
AHIMA Emerging Leader Triumph Award and recognzies him
for his outstanding commitment to his profession and his passion for passing on that commitment to others.